Some of you might remember from, IG stories, the day of our big move into the rental, someone accidentally fell on one of our large mirrors and it broke. Thankfully no one was hurt! Since then, I have wanted to make a large mirror for our new home when we build…hopefully this one makes it there in one piece.
I searched online to see if there were any large mirrors that I wanted to buy, instead of making one. I love the mirrors from Anthropologie and Arhaus (if you know the ones I’m speaking of), it just seems that everyone has one and I wanted something different that would make a statement.
Trav (my hubs) found a couple of huge 78″ x 48″ closet door mirrors on our local Facebook marketplace site for only $30 for both of them! Unfortunately, one of them broke when we was removing it from its original closet door frame. WARNING: Use shatter proof mirror/glass for safety! When we have made large mirrors in the past, we usually find them on Craigslist or yard sale sites for free or very inexpensive. Affiliate Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. If you use these links to buy something, we may earn a small commission, at no additional cost to you. Thank you!
First we purchased kiln dried pine lumber is 1″ x 12″ x 96″ sections. Trav cut the boards to length so there would only be 2″ of mirror glass resting on the back of the frame he was building. Since the mirror was 78″ x 48″ he needed the inside of the mirror frame to be no larger than 74″ x 44″. Because our lumber was so wide, he actually made the inside dimensions 68″ x 44″ just so the frame would be able to fit through our door frames! We don’t want to be taking off any more doors to get things inside!
Pocket hole screws allow two boards to be joined at a seam instead of stacking them. A pocket hole joint also creates a clean look on the back of the frame The hole drilled is angled, allowing the screw to be angled through one board into the other. We used 1 3/8″ pocket hole screws. Trav opted for 8 pocket hole screws at each joint because the boards for our mirror frame were so wide (1″ x 12″s).
With the boards now connected, the basic frame for the mirror was built!
I wanted to apply the finished stain technique to the frame before attaching the mirror, so I wouldn’t have to tape off the entire mirror and risk getting stain on the surface. The first coat was Minwax Color Wash (White Wash) ,applied with a lint free cloth, and then wiped again with a clean,dry cloth. It’s important to get a good even coat of the white wash, because when the glaze is applied, it will show any streaks front the white wash. We used pre stain on some of the boards and I couldn’t really tell much of a difference with or without it.
The top coat was Rust-oleum Decorative Glaze (Java Brown) applied with a cloth and then wiped again with a clean, dry lint free cloth. This same technique was used for all trim and molding pieces as well. In this image, you can see the original pine board color, the White Wash applied (only), then the Glaze applied on top of the White Wash for our finished look!
Now it was time to attach the mirror! We laid the frame face down, so we were working on the back of the frame. Trav laid beads of Gorilla Construction Adhesive on the back of the frame where the mirror would be laid (the mirror edges would overlap on the wood on the frame). *Be careful here not to get adhesive too close to the inside edge of the frame. The weight of the glass smashes the adhesive out in all directions and you don’t want adhesive showing on the front of the mirror. Once the adhesive was laid, we put the mirror (reflective side down) on the adhesive, resting face down on the back of the mirror frame.
Next, Trav began securing and supporting the mirror across the back. He used 1″ x 2″ strips of pine across the back of the mirror and one resting at the bottom of the mirror to support its weight, attaching those strips with the same Gorilla Construction Adhesive (on the mirror back for additional support to the mirror), and 1 1/4″ GRK Trim Head Screws to attach the wood strips to the wood mirror frame. Be careful to not fasten your screws too deep or they will come right through the front of your mirror frame!
Once the mirror was attached, we began staining boards for trim. We used a vertical 1″ x 6″ the entire vertical length of the mirror on both sides.
Now it was time to pick out the molding and trim pieces we wanted! We spent over an hour picking over and dreaming up how the trim would look when pieced together! We opted to put a horizontal 1″ x 3″ pine board with another horizontal 1″ x 4 1/2″ pine board on the top of the frame. We wanted layer molding and trim to give an appearance of varying depths and contours. We selected 3/4″ square trim and 3 1/4″ Casing trim, which would be laid adjacent horizontally. Followed by 11/16″ Cove trim and 2 1/4″ Casing trim, also laid adjacent horizontally. We also wanted to “mirror” the trim look on the top of the frame with the trim on the bottom of the frame…a mirrored pattern on our mirror…so we reversed the same trim from the top of the frame to the bottom of the frame.
Trav began the tedious task of of cutting the trim and molding pieces, using precise measurements and making inside and outside 45° cuts on his miter saw. In all, not including a handful of (a couple dozen or so) mistakes, there were over 200 cuts made on trim and support boards…some as small as 3/4″ long with others over 90″ long! For more info on how to make inside/outside miter cuts on trim and molding, here is a short video tutorial.
You probably saw me staining Trav’s puzzle pieces together in my IG Stories…Trav had to label every piece of trim so he’d know exactly where to attach it once I was finished staining! And so it went for 2 straight days…him cutting and me staining!
Once that was finished, it was time for Trav to put the puzzle pieces in place! All 168 pieces of trim had to be lined up and attached! He started by attaching the 1″ x 3″ and 1″ x 4 1/2″ horizontal pieces on the top and bottom of the frame, using GRK 1 1/4″ and 2″ Trim Head Screws. Once the 1″ x 3″ pieces were attached, he clamped and fastened the 1″ x 4 1/2″ pieces to them, using the same screws to create the top/bottom detail of the frame.
Next, Trav began measuring and lining up the trim pieces on the frame. He attached them with a 23-gauge Porter Cable pin nailer. If you’ve never seen or used them, Pin Nails are primarily used for trim/detail work…they have no head like a typical nail, and at only 23-guage thickness, they are literally the size of a small needle or “pin”, leaving virtually no evidence that a nail or nail hole is present on the wood…perfect for a clean finished look!
And that, my friends, is how we DIY’d an old $15 mirror closet door into a standing wall mirror that looks like a million bucks! Our actual cost for Materials is below, as well as a Materials/Tools Source list.
It started out in our living room, until I finished the hutch…
Check out that craftsmanship detail of Trav’s!!
And, now, it’s in the spot that we made it for…well, we actually made it for our new house when we build, but it will stay here until then.
Hallie said the hallway is her favorite room in the house now, haha!
I think it might be my fave too! And, Chester’s too!
Total Project Expenses
- Total Project Hours: Approx: 15 hrs.
- Mirror: $15 (FB Marketplace)
- Lumber: $175 (Lumber Yard)
- Trim/Molding: $65 (Home Improvement Store)
- Construction adhesive: $8
- Pin Nails: $14
- Rustoleum Glaze: $31
- Minwax Color Wash $26
- Total Project Cost: $334
- Large Vanity Mirror or Mirror Closet Door (WARNING: Use shatter proof mirror/glass for safety!)
- 1″ x 12″ Lumber for the mirror frame
- Wood Trim and Molding styled according to your taste (we used 3/4″ square trim combined with 3 1/4″ Casing trim and 11/16″ Cove trim combined with 2 1/4″ Casing trim)
- Pocket Hole Jig
- Ryobi 18v cordless Drill
- Pocket Hole Screws (we used 1 1/4″)
- Gorllia Construction adhesive
- 10″ Compound Mitre Saw (electric) -OR- Hand Saw w/ Mitre Box (manual)
- GRK 1 1/4″ Trim Head Screws
- Minwax Color Wash – White Wash
- Rust-oleum Decorative Glaze (Java Brown)
- Steel Bar Clamps
- Porter Cable 23-guage Pin Nailer
- 1 3/8″ 23 guage Pin Nails
- Air compressor and air hose (this is Trav’s)